In 2011, the Santa Rosa Boys Basketball team had a winless season. Since then the program has taken steps to get to competitive. There has been improvement each season.
In the climb to respectability, one thing that hasn’t happened for Santa Rosa was a victory over Montgomery. The officials at the school can’t even tell you when the last time that happened. It has been at least the Max Preps era, which started in the 2004-05 season or twenty two league games against the Vikings.
They know the last time now.
It was on Monday Night January 25th, 2016. On this night Santa Rosa got one of the biggest shots in school history which forced overtime and they went on to defeat Montgomery 57-50.
That shot belong to senior Tommy LaVine which ended a wild last possession.
Up to that moment it looked like it would be a missed opportunity. Santa Rosa had a 27-20 lead with 3:30 to go in the third quarter. Montgomery then went on a 20-5 run and seemed in control at 40-32 with 5:20 left.
After two free throws by Montgomery’s Alex Soria, it was still 43-37 with 1:27 left. Kalei Aukai then drained a three to cut it to 43-40 with 1:30 left. After Montgomery hit one of two from the foul line, Mazi Macondray pulled down a missed three and put it back in to cut it to 44-42. Santa Rosa then forced a turnover with :37.1 left.
Isaiah Steele drove the lane and was called for an offensive foul to give Montgomery back the ball back :30.9 left. After two timeouts, one by each team, Santa Rosa was forced to foul. Montgomery hit one of two free throws to make it 45-42 and set up one of the craziest and biggest possessions in recent Santa Rosa history.
LaVine started the crazy part by throwing up over a 30 foot shot with :11 left. The rebound went to Aukai, who dribbled to the corner and tossed up another three that missed. That rebound went to Anthony Gallegos, who threw it out to LaVine who was wide open at the top of the key and drained the three just as the buzzer sounded and on to overtime they went.
After all that madness, there was no way that Santa Rosa was going to let this chance slip away. An old fashion three point play by Macondray with 3:10 left gave Santa Rosa the lead for good at 50-47. Macondray scored a team high 13 points. After an exchange of baskets, Santa Rosa hit four straight free throws to put it away.
Not only was this a big win mentally for Santa Rosa to defeat Montgomery, it was a big one in the standings too. Until Monday night they couldn’t tell you when was the last time they beat Montgomery. Now they can’t tell you the last time they played in postseason. The win over Montgomery was a huge step in that direction. They are now in a second place tie with Cardinal Newman, one game ahead of Montgomery and Ukiah, who are tied for fourth, which is the last spot in the NBL post season tournament. WATCH GAME VIDEO HERE
Windsor continues to have a two game lead at the top of the standings after holding off Maria Carrillo 70-60. Windsor had a 12 point second half lead cut to two with 3:30 left. It was 10-2 Windsor the rest of the way as they raise their overall record to 16-3 and NBL record to 7-0. Gabe Knight scored 24 to lead Windsor. Patrick Gavin scored 21 for Maria Carrillo.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Newman also won a tight one defeating Casa Grande 54-49. Cardinal Newman had a ten point third quarter lead cut to one with two minutes left. Cody Baker hit a three point shot and then added two free throws to put it away. That was part of a game high 15 points. Robbie Sheldon led Casa Grande with 12.
Ukiah won their fourth straight defeating Rancho Cotate 73-33 with Sammy and Alec Mora combining for 30 points.
The second half begins on Wednesday. Windsor hosts Ukiah, Cardinal Newman travels to Montgomery and Santa Rosa goes to Casa Grande.
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